Saint Anthony Falls

Waterfall on the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

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St. Anthony Falls Historic District
Saint Anthony Falls aerial.jpg
Saint Anthony Falls with the upper dam and lock, viewed from south-east; there is also a lower dam and lock further downstream.
Saint Anthony Falls is located in Minnesota
Saint Anthony Falls
LocationMinneapolis, Minnesota
Coordinates44°58′54″N 93°15′31″W / 44.98167°N 93.25861°W / 44.98167; -93.25861Coordinates: 44°58′54″N 93°15′31″W / 44.98167°N 93.25861°W / 44.98167; -93.25861
BuiltApron built 1848
ArchitectApron by Ard Godfrey, et al.
NRHP reference No.71000438[1]
Added to NRHPMarch 11, 1971

Saint Anthony Falls, or the Falls of Saint Anthony, northeast of downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota, was the only natural major waterfall on the Upper Mississippi River. The natural falls were replaced by a concrete overflow spillway (also called an "apron") after it partially collapsed in 1869. Later, in the 1950s and 1960s, a series of locks and dams was constructed to extend navigation to points upstream.[2]

The falls are named after the Catholic saint Anthony of Padua. The towns of St. Anthony and Minneapolis, which had developed on the east and west sides of the falls, respectively, merged in 1872 to fully use the power of the falls for milling operations. From 1880 to about 1930, Minneapolis was the "Flour Milling Capital of the World".[3]

Stereoscopic photograph of the falls by Benjamin Franklin Upton
Falls of St. Anthony, by Upton, B. F. (Benjamin Franklin), 1818 or 1824-after 1901 2.png
In winter

Today, the falls are defined by the locks and dams of the Upper Saint Anthony Falls, just downstream of the 3rd Avenue Bridge, and the Lower Saint Anthony Falls, just upstream of the I-35W Saint Anthony Falls Bridge.[4] These locks were built as part of the Upper Mississippi River 9-Foot Navigation Project. The area around the falls is designated the St. Anthony Falls Historic District[5] and features a 1.8-mile (2.9 km) self-guided walking trail with signs explaining the area's past.

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